Keyword: France

Why this war on Gaddafi is a trap

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 © Reuters © Reuters

The civil war in Libya continues as the NATO-led military campaign against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's forces still fails to break the deadlock. France, the US, and UK have said a change of regime is not their goal, but also that they will not stop bombing until Gaddafi has gone. Meanwhile, NATO foreign ministers failed on Friday to agree for a call for more strike planes to assist the operation.

Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel argues here why military intervention was a misconceived campaign, a dupery led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy primarily for internal political considerations.

When France protected on-the-run Balkan war lords

Ante Gotovina. © (dr) Ante Gotovina. © (dr)

Mediapart has obtained access to secret notes belonging to a now-retired senior French intelligence officer which establish how for years the French secret services collaborated with suspected war criminals, military officers from the former Yugoslavia, while they were wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) based in The Hague. Among them was Croatian General Ante Gotovina (photo), finally captured in the Canary Islands in 2005, as revealed in this investigation by Jean-Arnault Dérens and Laurent Gesli.

What US cables reveal about France and the Ben Ali regime

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 © (Reuters) © (Reuters)

French foreign minister Michèle Alliot-Marie has been forced to resign after a series of revelations over her close ties with the entourage of deposed Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. After a luxurious holiday in Tunisia during the popular uprising then sweeping the country, she later offered French security "know-how" to the desperate Ben Ali regime during its last days in power. But Alliot-Marie was far from alone in her disinterest of the dire human rights abuses exacted under Ben Ali's 23-year reign, as confirmed by US diplomatic cables revealed exclusively here. In this first report following Mediapart's newly-reached partnership with WikiLeaks, we detail how official French policy towards Tunis has for years placed bi-lateral security issues well above concerns for democracy.

The French foreign minister, Ben Ali and the jet

Bombardier © DR Bombardier © DR

A private jet used by French foreign affairs minister Michèle Alliot-Marie while holidaying in strife-torn Tunisia for the New Year belonged to a company run by the reviled brother-in-law of deposed Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Mediapart can reveal (along with the aircraft's intriguing flight log).

Leading French charity sounds alarm over 'unprecedented' housing crisis

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More than 8.5 million people in France are in, or face soon falling into, precarious living conditions as the effects of the economic downturn begin to also engulf middle income earners in an ‘unprecedented' housing crisis, warns one of France's leading charitable organizations, the Abbé Pierre foundation, in a report published this month.

On the road with France's down and almost out

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"Habiter un camion et travailler, c'est une bonne solution pour vivre en France" © E. Berthaud. "Habiter un camion et travailler, c'est une bonne solution pour vivre en France" © E. Berthaud.

A quarter of a million people in France are homeless, or live in precarious living conditions according to a report published this month by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, while another 2.9 million live in "uncomfortable" accomodation. Mediapart's Elodie Berthaud has travelled France meeting with students, tradesmen, unemployed and seasonal workers who have reached the last rung of the social ladder.

Fertile France tops European population growth

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The population of France rose by 358,000 in 2010 to reach, for the first time ever, a total of more than 65 million, confirming the most consistent growth trend of any country in Europe. In the 12 months to January, it recorded 828,000 births, while deaths were down and life expectancy went up. Audrey Vucher presents the largely cheerful key figures from a study released this week by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies.

Austerity hits households hardest, French figures show

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The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) in December released its latest report on key economic facts and trends in France. Mediapart's Laurent Mauduit has studied the figures and finds austerity plans are stifling French growth, with households rather than businesses bearing the brunt of the effort.

France's future is fighting back, by Philippe Marlière (The Guardian)

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Pensions stalemate heads for showdown

French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke of his "duty" to push on with his government's pension reform bill as unions claimed more than three million people took to the streets on Tuesday in a sixth day of strikes and demonstrations against the pension reforms. A further day of protest has now been called for October 28th, when the bill heads back to parliament for a final vote before becoming law.